End of Summer Vacation Comes with Back-to-School Traffic Dangers

It's the last day of summer for many students in the Coastal Bend, but there are some sobering statistics dealing with the number of crashes, deaths and injuries in school zones that parents should keep in mind.

It's the kids that drivers should keep their eyes out for. Many drivers will be dropping off their kids at and around area schools.

Last year, 625 crashes occurred in school zones in Texas, resulting in two deaths and 112 serious injuries. In August and September of 2013 alone, there were 104 crashes in school zones.

There are some 54 schools in the Corpus Christi Independent School District, four special campuses and more than 39,000.

"Motor vehicles, slow down. It's going to be congested. It's going to be crowded," CCISD Police Chief Kirby Warnke said. "We haven't been doing this for about 90 days now, so it's going to be the first day back. Slow down. Be patient. Everyone will get there safe."

Warnke said they will concentrate officers around the local elementary schools to pay special attention to traffic before sending them on to secondary campuses.

Of course, the chief warns drivers to put down your cell phones in school zones and be patient.

Meanwhile, the school crossing guard program is ready to go, even though the City awarded a management contract for that service to an out of town company -- All City Services from Houston. They will be responsible for managing the 30 different school crosswalks where guards are required.

The area supervisor for crossing guards said she is always looking for alternates.

"I have 30 regulars and seven alternates," Crossing Guard Supervisor Lali Gomez said. "The children are crossing between 7-8:15 a.m. because that's the time we're going to get off, and then in the afternoons at 2:30 p.m., and we'll be there only until 4 p.m. So we're just working a few hours. We're not working as many hours as we used to."

Gomez said five guards who retired last year decided to return to work as crossing guards this year. If you would like to apply as an alternate or a regular crossing guard, contact Lali Gomez at 361-461-5737.


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